NYC schools ending 'Gifted and Talented' program

The New York City Department of Education has announced that it is scrapping the controversial "gifted and talented" program after this spring.

The program is an exam given to kindergartners that decides whether to put them on fast-track status for selective school programs. However, critics of the program say that its racial composition has long been out of step with the city's demographics, as the number of white and Asian students in the program has been significantly higher than students of color.

"I guarantee you there are a hell of a lot more kids who have talents and abilities and the need for special opportunities than just the few who have been in gifted and talented to date," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Officials say that the program's replacement will be in place by the fall, and will be the result of a huge public input campaign along with involvement with education and community stakeholders.

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